Even while World War II was still raging, Hitler had already begun planning his massive rebuilding project after his planned Nazi victory, centered on the city of Berlin and which would’ve been renamed Germania. Lawrence explained to /Film that he had actually used this as the chief inspiration behind much of the Capitol aesthetics in both “Catching Fire” and the “Mockingjay” movies. So when it came time to further flesh out the world of Panem and specifically the Capitol city in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” it only made sense to turn right back to the pages of history. He went on to say:
“And so we started to look at Berlin, again connected to Germania, but Berlin post-World War II. That reconstruction era of ’45 into the early ’50s, to see there’s no rubble on the streets, just scaffolding. Where are the cranes, what’s still in rubble? What classic buildings are being reconstructed, what new buildings are popping up? With little hints toward what Panem might look like in the future.”
Although most of the marketing push has focused on the main arena battle and several scenes set in the outlying District 12, much of what Lawrence explains here comes through resoundingly in the brief snippets of footage we’ve seen of the Capitol exterior. Even in the image above, you can see construction cranes and scaffolding and even some hints of leftover battle damage, all of which goes a long way towards conveying the brutal war that led to the Hunger Games as a means of punishment in the first place.